State by State Progress: A National Movement

More than half of state legislatures have natural-psychedelic legislation up for consideration since 2023

In this deeply polarized time, natural psychedelics are finding common ground in Democratic and Republican state houses around the country following electoral success at the ballot box in Oregon and Colorado.

In 2020 Oregon voters passed Measure 109 which established a robust regulatory framework to be administered by the Oregon Health Authority, the state agency responsible for psilocybin services.

In 2022 Colorado voters passed Proposition 122, which will allow adults 21 years and older to access approved psychedelic medicines under the guidance of a licensed facilitator at designated and licensed healing centers, approved healthcare facilities like hospice and palliative care, and, where applicable, in the comfort and safety of their home.

Not too long ago, advancements in access to the therapeutic use of natural psychedelics were just a pipedream,
stymied by antiquated policies and prejudices born out of the federal government-led War on Drugs. Today, with each new bill filed, the ball moves forward on providing facilitators and individuals pursuing this therapy another tool in the therapeutic tool box.

Among the highlights in state capitals since the start of 2023, include:

  • 5 – The number of bills that secured passage through their state’s legislature last year:
    • Arizona – Governor Katie Hobbs (D), as part of the annual budget omnibus, signed into law SB1720, which has a provision to include $5 million for grants to study the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin.
    • Minnesota – Governor Tim Walz (D) put his signature to the 900+ page omnibus health appropriations bill, SF2995, that includes the authorization of a 25 member task force that would be charged with advising the legislature on “the legal, medical, and policy issues associated with the legalization of psychedelic medicine in the state.”
    • Nevada – Governor Joe Lombardo (R) signed SB242, directing the Department of Health and Human Services to establish the Psychedelic Medicines Working Group to study the therapeutic use of psychedelics.
    • Washington – Governor Jay Inslee (D) enacted SB5263, which created a psilocybin efficacy task force, and authorized the University of Washington School of Medicine to create a clinic pilot program and study, funded by the state to the tune of $1.4 million, that will include 30-40 first responders and military veterans with PTSD and alcohol abuse histories.
    • California – California became the first state to pass a bill, SB58, to decriminalize plant medicines in both legislative chambers. California Governor Newsom (D) vetoed the bill but encouraged the legislature to send him a new version of the same bill that would include therapeutic guidelines, noting that that “psychedelics have proven to relieve people suffering from certain conditions such as depression, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and other addictive personality traits.”
  • HB1 (Illinois) – Similar to the Initiative Petition that Massachusetts for Mental Health Options is seeking to put in front of the voters in 2024, the Illinois Legislature is attempting to enact a similar regulated therapeutic framework in the Land of Lincoln.
  • LD1914 (Maine) – In 2022, the Maine Senate passed a regulated psilocybin program, similar to Oregon, but was unable to gain traction in the House. Undaunted and undeterred, a revised bill has been filed this session.
  • S2283 (New Jersey) – Spearheaded by the Senate President, Nicholas P. Scutari (D), the bill would legalize the manufacturing and use of psilocybin, as well as expunge past convictions for certain psilocybin-related conduct.

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